Pope leads global praise for ‘historic’ US-Cuba rapprochement

People stand outside in Little Havana on December 17, 2014 in Miami, FloridaPope Francis led a chorus of global plaudits for Wednesday’s breakthrough in US-Cuban relations, hailed as “historic” in Europe and South America and prompting celebrations on the streets of Havana. In a personal coup for the pope, it emerged that the Vatican had played a central role in bringing together the global capitalist superpower and the tiny communist island. The Vatican said the pope had appealed to US President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro to end the standoff, offering negotiators his offices in October, paving the way for “solutions acceptable to both parties”. Hillary Clinton, the former US secretary of state now seen as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election, endorsed Obama’s move.